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Background

In developing economies including Cameroon, access to finance is among the top constraints entrepreneurs face when they want to scale up their businesses. A critical look at the World Bank Doing Business Indicator of Access to Credit in Cameroon from 2007 to 2020 show that the country has made some progress in the getting credit indicator as compared to other Sub-Saharan African countries. In fact, in 2007, Cameroon’s 117th position was behind countries like Gabon’s 101th or Mozambique’s 87th positions. Currently, Cameroon has surpassed those countries which respectively rank 132th and 165th. However, Cameroon is yet to have its best ranking on getting credit index. Indeed, the information asymmetry between borrowers and lenders makes it difficult to channel available resources to the productive sectors of the economy. In addition, the procedures and conditions required for obtaining credit are too cumbersome to a spectrum of ordinary citizens most of whom are employed in the informal sector. Consequently, only 14.20% of firms in the formal sector report having a line of credit or a loan from a financial institution while 41.1% of firms identify access/cost of finance as a “major” or “very severe” obstacle. The big question which evoked concerns for this study is, why are so many firms excluded from the formal financial sector in Cameroon?

Purpose of the event

The seminar is aimed at the following:

  • To disseminate the findings of a thematic report on obtaining credit in Cameroon;
  • Make an evaluation of the current state as regards access to credit in Cameroon;
  • Propose recommendations for policymakers that can help improve Cameroon’s position in the ranking.

Date, host, and methodology of the event

 The seminar is scheduled to take place online via Zoom on November 30, 2020 from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (Cameroon Time). It will be hosted by the Nkafu Policy Institute, a leading Cameroonian think tank lodged at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation. The discussions will be registered and shared with registered participants.

Panelists

 The panel will be constituted of three speakers and a moderator. They include:

Moderator:

    • Mr. Henri Kouam – Economic Policy Analyst at the Nkafu Policy Institute; Yaoundé-Cameroon.

Thematic concerns

The discussion will be focused on four main issues that individuals and companies encounter in obtaining credit in Cameroon, and are formulated as follows:

  • Is the current state of Cameroon’s ranking in “getting credit index” encouraging?
  • Are the procedures to obtain credit in Cameroon be described as too complex? Is it a bitter pill for applicants to swallow?
  • Are the conditions for obtaining credit in Cameroon favorable to foreign investors?
  • Are the conditions for obtaining credit often difficult for women to meet? What are some of the recommendations that can be made to improve the situation of women in particular and the overall conditions in obtaining credit in Cameroon?

Participation

 The event envisages to bring participants from various sectors including but not limited to potential investors, individuals from the public and private sectors, the media, as well as economists and researchers. There is no participation fee. The only requirement is to register online for the event and have access to internet.

Expectations

At the end of the event, participants are expected to know:

  • Whether the current state of Cameroon’s ranking in “getting credit indicator,” is encouraging or not.
  • If the procedures to obtain credit in Cameroon is complex, and whether it is a bitter pill to swallow by applicants.
  • Whether the conditions for obtaining credit in Cameroon are favorable to foreign investors or not.
  • If the conditions for obtaining credit is often difficult for women to meet.
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